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Old Dec 25, 2012, 09:26 AM   #1
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27 inch iMac: base or with Fusion?

Hello everyone,

At first it took my some time to decide for which imac i should go (21 or 27).
Based on the posts on this site and the various reviews i've decided i should go for the 27 inch model.

The 27 has a better monitor panel (higher screen resolution), faster harddisk, memory can be upgraded. The 21 (except the base model) are too expensive in my opinion. The 21 and 27 arevboth more expensive than the 2011 model.
I am an average user (internet/mail/ms office/photo edit/video edit). This will be my first mac and i want it to last at least 5 years. My current pc is getting slower and slower, will this happen to the mac also without a fusion drive?

Thanks in advance for your reply!
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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If you want it to last 5 years getting an iMac without the fusion or the pure ssd option is a bad idea. An SSD is the single best upgrade you can do for a systems overall speed.
2012 27" iMac with 680mx | 2011 13" MBA 128gb | iPhone 4 32gb | Nexus 7 16gb | Nexus 4 on Carbon and Trinity.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Just received the iMac that's in my sig.

If you'll be under OS X all of the time, then the Fusion Drive is what you want. Speed, storage, etc. Getting the large SSD doesn't make much sense, because all of the writes are performed on the SSD, and the OS will stay on the SSD as well. There's only going to be a few times where you'll see slower-than-ssd speeds.

However, if you plan on being under Windows a good portion, and you want the same SSD speeds there, then consider the full-size SSD, since BootCamp won't use the SSD at all for Windows. Even still, I couldn't justify the price.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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The stores keep the 27" models with the i7, fusion and the gtx 680. This is what i will get, and i wont need to order online.

Imo fusion is worth it
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 01:45 PM   #5
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If you are going for the 27, I think any option is a possibility, but it all depends on your budget and needs. I chose the 21 because of the desk size I use and a couple other peripherals that generally suit that screen resolution. That did lock me in somewhat to the Fusion drive because I believe the performance of the regular 5200rpm HD isn't that great and is in some cases slightly slower than the 2011 model. You are right in that sense that this option becomes expensive and I seriously considered the 27".

If I hadn't needed to go with a smaller model, I would have stuck with the base 27. A regular hard drive might last 5 years, it might not. You can look at it many ways, but even then there are no guarantees of life in any electrical device like that, whether it's Fusion, Standard HD or full SSD, that is just the nature of Disc based storage. Of course you can buy Applecare which covers you for 3 years in case something truly goes west in your hard drive system.

In terms of performance, in the 21, you probably have to look at Fusion which pushes the price up, but for the 27.... you might decide if you are a casual user it is a "nice to have" rather than a must have. By the end of that computer's life, the whole SSD thing will probably have sorted itself out, it will probably be the standard and they will be cheaper. The theory could well be, if you've never had a fusion drive, you don't know what it's like so you won't miss it not being there.

Here's some benchmarks for your options, and you should decide if you really need that extra speed. If it were me as a casual user I'd say no to Fusion, unless I had the extra money lying around to play with. The machine even without it will perform well, however with Fusion you do get an undeniable speed boost for working with file transfers, loading apps etc. It's your call as to whether you prefer to save money now for your next one, or gamble on the new technology.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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I think you could flip a coin and get the same response as around here. Personally, I'm not sold on Fusion yet. Too new, too little real use data.

Buy why do you want it to last 5 years? It's more cost effective to sell at two years and buy the newest model with proceeds. At two years you'll still get at least 60% of what you paid. At 5 years maybe $200 for parts.
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"People who use Apple products considered their options, and chose Apple. If they regret their decision, they can dump it at any time." -- Harry McCracken, Technologizer.com
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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Fusion FTW sooo much faster that alone is worth it. This was my first Mac as well and so glad I went that route, everything else base model 27" aside from Fusion its worth the 250$.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 09:48 AM   #8
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I tfhought the base model was best value for money? So i would regret it if i don't go for the fusion model? It costs a large amount extra. I thought that for the 21 it's necessary because of the slow harddrive, but the 27 model harddisk is faster so you could go for the base (even if it should last at least 5 years?)

Has anyone tested both models?

Thanks again
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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The 5400rpm at Best Buy was awful. It gave spinning beach balls every time I clicked on anything.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
The 5400rpm at Best Buy was awful. It gave spinning beach balls every time I clicked on anything.
Yeah, the base 21.5" that I got at BB (only because of the extended holiday return policy) only got 72MB write/75.9MB read. Sucky, I can't wait to return this and go all out on a 27" 3.4 with a 3TB Fusion once they're not as constrained.
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